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pixel.gif (807 bytes) Measuring application
ALTHOUGH THE PRIMARY purpose of training is to bring about learning, not much money would be made available for training if that was as far as it went. Sponsors of training need to know that what is learned as a result of training will be applied back on the job with some effect, hopefully positive. In fact, as the sponsors, they have a right to know this.

At level 3, we are measuring the extent to which new knowledge, skills and attitudes are translated into new job behaviour - in other words, the extent to which learning is being applied.

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why learning does not get applied:

  • it is forgotten
  • it is discouraged
  • it is not reinforced
  • there is no opportunity to apply it
  • when applied, it doesn't work

If any of these are the case, then you need to know about it. You may be able to revise the course or introduce new follow-up procedures that will help cure the problem.

So how can we measure the extent to which learning is applied?

Tutors, coaches or the learner's supervisor can watch out for the way in which learning is being applied. They can also provide positive reinforcement where the results are successful and constructive feedback and encouragement where they are not.

A more structured approach is to have the learner's peers, subordinates or supervisor complete a questionnaire, listing the desired behaviours and asking for feedback on the extent to which they are in evidence.

In some job positions, where the learner is working with electronic equipment, it may be possible for evidence of behaviour to be gathered automatically.

Learners will know better than anyone whether they are applying their new learning. You may ask learners to keep counts of what they do, complete checklists or questionnaires.

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